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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Nicodemus in Graham County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Mail From Back Home

Nicodemus National Historic Site

 

— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —

 
Mail From Back Home Marker image. Click for full size.
By Connor Olson, August 19, 2019
1. Mail From Back Home Marker
Inscription.  
Eager for word from loved ones back home, people gathered at the St. Francis Hotel when the mail wagon arrived. The right, upright section of this building was the original limestone St. Francis Hotel, Nicodemus' first stone building along the main street.

Civil War cavalry veteran, Zachary T. Fletcher and his wife, Jenny, came from Kentucky with the fist Nicodemus settlers. Initially they homesteaded a few miles west of town. Then in 1881, hopeful that a railroad line would promote business, Fletcher and his brother Thomas built the hotel.

The St. Francis was often full. Lodging for homesteaders and travelers was hard to find. Jenny Fletcher prepared hot meals for hotel guests. She also ran a millinery (hat) shop and later served as postmaster.

"This house is in first-class order and is prepared to furnish the best accommodations to the traveling public. Charges reasonable." Western Cyclone, May 27, 1886

[Image captions:]
Zachary Fletcher was not only the first postmaster in Nicodemus but also the first black postmaster in a non-slave state. He established

The St. Francis Hotel image. Click for full size.
By Connor Olson, August 19, 2019
2. The St. Francis Hotel
Click or scan to see
this page online
the St. Francis Hotel and a livery stable. His wife, Jenny was a charter member of the AME Church.

By 1880, Nicodemus had a population of almost 500, and boasted a bank, to hotels, three churches, a newspaper, a drug store, and three general stores-surrounded by twelve

 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCommunicationsIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church ⛪, and the Postal Mail and Philately 📭 series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1881.
 
Location. 39° 23.585′ N, 99° 36.931′ W. Marker is in Nicodemus, Kansas, in Graham County. Marker is on Washington Avenue, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 413 Washington Ave, Bogue KS 67625, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. St. Francis Hotel (here, next to this marker); Together We Gather (within shouting distance of this marker); Main Street Boom and Beyond (within shouting distance of this marker); Leaning On The Land (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Nicodemus
The crumbling walls of the hotel image. Click for full size.
By Connor Olson, August 19, 2019
3. The crumbling walls of the hotel
(about 400 feet away); We've Come This Far By Faith (about 400 feet away); First Baptist Church (about 400 feet away); Nicodemus Baseball History (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Nicodemus.
 
Also see . . .  Nicodemus Nat'l Hist. Site. (Submitted on August 15, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 15, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 15, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 43 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 15, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 9, 2021